SA loses out on new Toyota-Mazda factory, AP source says

SA loses out on new Toyota-Mazda factory, AP source says

SA loses out on new Toyota-Mazda factory, AP source says

It will be able to build 300,000 vehicles per year and will produce the Toyota Corolla compact auto for North America and a new small SUV from Mazda, the companies have said.

Still, Toyota and Mazda have said their collaboration will respect mutual independence and equality. It was chosen apparently because it's relatively close to Kentucky, where a Toyota assembly plant is located.

The new Alabama facility is expected to create up to 4,000 jobs.

Alabama is one of more than 20 U.S. states that bid to host the plant. The fact that Toyota and Mazda picked Alabama is indicative of the hard work and commitment Alabama has made to become the pacesetter in the automobile manufacturing industry.

"We expect the new facility in Huntsville to act as a magnet for substantial new industry investment and job-creation."

Toyota Motor President Akio Toyoda and Mazda Motor President Masamichi Kogai bow at a joint news conference in Tokyo, Japan August 4, 2017.

The announcement comes at a time that US sales of small cars fell almost 10 per cent previous year as buyers continued a massive shift toward SUVs and pickup trucks.

"Mazda makes cars with a clear vision of how we want to inspire people, contribute to society and help preserve the beauty of the Earth. I'd like to express our honest appreciation for the people of Alabama and Huntsville for their support", said Masamichi Kogai, CEO and president of Mazda Motor Corporation. The plan for the Alabama plant appears to reflect Trump's calls for more investment and jobs in the United States. "Starting from 2021, I'm confident that we run a highly competitive plant, by bringing together the expertise of Toyota and Mazda as well as the excellent Alabama workforce".

A formal announcement by company and state officials is expected on Wednesday in Montgomery, sources briefed on the matter said.

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle hailed the Toyota-Mazda decision as a milestone development for the North Alabama city.

With this announcement, our world changes overnight.

I am extremely proud that Huntsville was selected by Toyota and Mazda for the joint auto production plant.

Alabama was already tied with Tennessee as the fifth-largest producer of vehicles in the country a year ago, according to the Center for Automotive Research, an industry think-tank in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Alabama is the fifth largest producer of cars and light trucks nationally and stands at the center of the growing Southeastern automotive region with a strong automotive presence including Toyota's engine plant in Huntsville.

Toyota and Mazda say annual production at Huntsville will be split evenly between the two automakers.

When Toyota-Mazda announced the joint venture and its plans to locate the plant in the US, state officials made a huge push for the project, which is expected to eventually employ 4,000 people and generate a $1.6 billion investment.

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